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In 2010 we completed a east-west rail link in Scotland – the country’s longest new railway with new stations for over a century
Funded by Transport Scotland, the new 15-mile rail link between Airdrie and Bathgate was completed on time and in budget in late 2010. This £300m project has given people in West Lothian direct rail access to Glasgow and stations west of Glasgow, and people in North Lanarkshire direct access to Edinburgh, for the first time in 50 years.
Communities along the route now have increased opportunities for work, education and social connections, stimulating economic growth in towns and villages with limited public transport. Employers benefit from a wider labour pool, and everyone benefits from having a greener, faster alternative to car travel.
Video - The story of the Airdrie-Bathgate rail link
The new rail link has created a faster, more direct route between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with frequent services. For example, people who use Airdrie, Drumgelloch and Bathgate stations can choose from four services an hour during the day, with two an hour after 7.00pm and on Sundays.
In addition, passengers travelling in the Glasgow direction can go straight on to stations west of Glasgow, including Helensburgh and Milngavie.
We constructed the Airdrie-Bathgate rail link in less than three years, including:
The old railway between Airdrie and Bathgate closed to passenger trains in 1957 and to freight trains in 1982. The route then became a popular cycle path. When building the new railway, we relocated the cycle path (National Cycle Route 75) in recognition of its importance to cyclists and the communities it passes through.
We consulted with local communities from 2004, using a range of channels to keep people informed about the project and to enable them to share their views, including: